Thursday, November 10 Scores
Ohio State Buckeyes 82, Charleston Southern Buccaneers 56
MaximumSam: The Zed Key game, as Finger Guns had a double double int he first half as the Buckeyes romped. The second half was pretty sloppy, and they turned the ball over too much. The team does look a bit more willing and able to defend than they’ve been the past couple years. Overall athleticism has been an issue for the Buckeyes under Chris Holtmann, and they’ve struggled with physicality at times. This iteration has multiple guys who look like they can stuff you in a locker, and hopefully the defensive stats start moving up.
BoilerUp89: I only watched a little of this one, but I was impressed by the improvements Zed Key has appeared to have made. He looked like the guy instead of just a guy.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 88, Sacred Heart Pioneers 50
MaximumSam: The story for the first two games is that transfer point guard Cam Spencer looks like a real Dude. He dropped 18 on ten shots while also posting a 33% assist rate. The team is still playing great defense, and the question marks for them was whether they could generate points. Spencer looks like a big piece in answering that.
BoilerUp89: Rutgers had control of this one halfway thru the first half. The Scarlet Knights scoring was balanced between Omoruyi (17), Hyatt (19), and Spencer (18). Omoruyi also had three blocks and seven rebounds and continues his breakout. Sacred Heart struggled to get into rhythm on the offensive end, shooting under 40% from the field and accumulating 25 turnovers. Credit to the Rutgers defense for hassling them into a poor offensive performance.
Penn State Nittany Lions 90, Loyola Maryland Greyhounds 65
MaximumSam: Speaking of transfers, Cam Wynter is not struggling either. He posted 18 points on a ridiculous 94% EFG, and I still maintain Penn State will be very annoying to play against as they run out a bunch of midgets who bomb threes.
BoilerUp89: Penn State hit 16 threes (including at least one from every starter) to blitz the Greyhounds. Jalen Pickett had 11 assists and Penn State did a good job of playing team basketball with nobody shooting more than nine attempts. Jaylin Andrews put up 23 points for the Greyhounds to lead all scorers.
misdreavus79: Penn State scored 90 points in back to back games for the first time in ever? This team, competition notwithstanding, looks like a vast improvement from the already competitive unit Micah Shrewsberry put out last season. I expect things to slow down considerably as the season goes on and the slog of the Big Ten wears on the players, but so far, I like what I’m seeing.
Maryland Terrapins 71, Western Carolina Catamounts 51
MaximumSam: Fairly nondescript game, though Julian Reese looked good for the Terps and had 19 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes. Pretty good theme of big guys dominating the little guys going on in the league.
BoilerUp89: Reese had a pretty good game, but I’ll note that Western Carolina’s best performer was their starting center Tyzhaun Claude who put up a 12 point/7 rebound (4 offensive) performance in just 18 minutes due to foul trouble (4 fouls - two of which came in the first nine minutes of the 1st half. Against Georgia, Claude played 28 minutes). After Claude’s first two fouls (within 30 seconds of each other), the Terrapins went on their run to open up a lead in the last 11 minutes of the 1st half. I’m not entirely sure if Claude sat those last 11 minutes, but I do know that he didn’t record any stats during that time period. Perhaps our Maryland commenters can comment. Either way this looks more like a case of Maryland having more depth than Western Carolina than anything else.
Nebraska Cornhuskers 75, Omaha Mavericks 61
MaximumSam: 2-0 Unstoppable Huskers! C.J. Wilcher led the way with 21, and I feel confident in saying they will not lose this season. Probably. At least to other teams from Nebraska.
BoilerUp89: Does Nebraska not play Creighton? checks schedule They do! So Nebraska will probably lose to them.
After taking a 10 point lead into halftime, Nebraska kept this one at arms length. Omaha made a brief run about midway thru the 2nd half to close to within 7, but never got any closer than that. In addition to Wilcher’s 21, Bandoumel and Griesel chipped in 18. Fan favorite Tominaga nearly had a 10 trillion, but got an assist to avoid that fate. Turnovers and foul trouble for their starters plagued Omaha.
13 Indiana Hoosiers 101, Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 49
MaximumSam: You knew they could rebound and play defense, but Indiana is out to prove they can score this year. And score they did, topping 100 points and getting contributions from nearly everyone. Hood-Schifino still struggled from the field, going 0-5 from three, though he did give them 8 assists and 5 rebounds.
BoilerUp89: Look - Indiana is doing what they should be doing against the Bethune-Cookman’s and Morehead State’s of the world. That hasn’t changed my opinion on them. They will however have an opportunity to do so Friday as yours truly watches them in person and roots for the hometown Muskies. Until then, I’ll consider them a good but not great team - more on that Xavier game in our preview article.
BuffKomodo: I’m still in temper expectations mode. Indiana looked good in the bits I saw. They’ve shot the ball better than last year in both these games so far. The freshmen Reneau and HS look as advertised. Bates seems to be playing much better and confidently so far. It’s tough to measure improvements through two blowouts to obvious lesser competition. Let’s see how the Hoosiers fair against Xavier.
Friday, November 11 Scores
2 Gonzaga Bulldogs 64, Michigan State Spartans 63
BoilerUp89: If the purpose was to play a competitive basketball game and showcase two good programs then mission failed. If the purpose was to run an infomercial for the US military: mission accomplished. Turns out playing outside, on a ship with the sun glaring down behind one of the baskets in the first half, is a a recipe for a terrible shooting game. And both teams were unable to shoot threes - they went a combined 7 of 34 from deep. Don’t doing this.
Michigan State played well in the post - major props to Sissoko (14 points, 9 rebounds) - but foul trouble had him out of the game at the end. So instead of going inside to Sissoko on the last play, a blown offensive play led to Sparty taking a contested fadeaway three as time was expiring.
MaximumSam: I’m going to disagree a bit. The three point line is the biggest gimmick in the history of sports, and every once in a while, it’s fun to see a game played effectively without it. This game turned into a 90’s NBA game, with big men coming up big and athletic guys attacking the rim and each other. I found it so much fun to watch.
Unfortunately for Sparty, while Sissoko gave a spirited effort, especially in the first half, the best big man was Drew Timme, and he showed it down the stretch. This is part one of a brutal stretch for MSU, but they certainly showed a lot of fight.
BoilerUp89: Speaking of terrible shooting games and terrible court ideas, Wisconsin played Stanford in a baseball stadium. Leading to terrible sight lines and another awful shooting night for both teams. Wisconsin went 5/20 and Stanford went 1/16 from three. Play basketball in basketball arenas. This isn’t that complicated.
Tyler Wahl led the Badgers with 17 points. The Badgers defense (or playing in a baseball stadium) game them the victory as Stanford shot 36.2/6.3/65.2 from 2/3/FT.
MaximumSam: I peered in on a few minutes of this one, and it seemed like every possession looked like a scrum near the basket. Stanford got Wisconsined.
Purdue Boilermakers 63, Austin Peay Governors 44
BoilerUp89: The third of our terrible shooting games of the evening, Purdue and Austin Peay were awful from deep and had to get most of their scoring inside. Never mind that Purdue was playing at Mackey Arena and doesn’t have the excuses that Michigan State and Wisconsin do. The Boilers went 2 of 19 from three. Zach Edey meanwhile became the first B1G player to go for 30 points/10 rebounds this season as he had 30 points and 11 boards in 30 minutes. Governors center Elijah Hutchins-Everett played pretty well himself scoring 19 points. This is a game Purdue would have lost last year. The offense was not making shots. But the defense grinded out the game, not giving the Governors anything easy, and forcing multiple shot clock violations. Defense lives here once again.
Minnesota Gophers 72, St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers 54
MaximumSam: Not an awe-inspiring win, but the Gophs got good contributions from three freshmen, as they led the team in scoring. That won’t cut it every night, but it bodes well that some other guys are stepping up as they wait for Jamison Battle to return from injury.
WSR: Minnesota’s got the most boring 25 point lead I’ve ever seen. It’s actually a bit impressive.
Northwestern Wildcats 63, Northern Illinois Huskies 46
MaximumSam: Meh. Northwestern struggled to score against an overmatched opponent. We’ll see what happens when they face a matched opponent.
MNW: An interesting test for the ‘Cats from an in-state rival they were always going to beat unless things went really pear-shaped. The Huskies (as of writing, KP 291) brought some full-court pressure that was a welcome test for the NU backcourt, which kept turnovers down and reciprocated with some stifling D on an NIU with limited options on offense.
When NU had the ball, Chase Audige’s offensive struggles continued, but Boo Buie picked up the slack in the second half. It was the NU I expected: a stagnant half-court offense predicated on perimeter ball-screens, lots of clanged threes, Ty Berry hitting a few from deep, and Robbie Beran needing to contribute double-digits to keep Northwestern ahead. Workmanlike nights inside from Tydus Verhoeven and Matt Nicholson helped; they’ll need to find their place in the offense against Georgetown next week. Excelsior.
Iowa Hawkeyes 112, North Carolina A&T Aggies 71
MaximumSam: Iowa definitely did not struggle to score against an overmatched opponent.
BoilerUp89: This is Fran’s 13th season at Iowa. After the first few seasons, Fran has paired great offenses with poor defenses. Every year, Fran schedules the most non-competitive non-conference schedule in the league. Nothing changes. Iowa did limit themselves to just 4 turnovers this game. If they can do that against better competition, they are going to win a lot of games this season.
22 Michigan Wolverines 88, Eastern Michigan Eagles 83
BoilerUp89: Emoni Bates put on a show in Ann Arbor and nearly lead the Eagles to upset with 30 points. Hunter Dickinson one upped him and put 31 on the board. This was a back and forth affair with Michigan taking the lead for the final time with 2:49 to play. Michigan left some points on the board with 15 missed free throws, but this was a competition game in most categories.
MaximumSam: Feels like Emoni Bates could have helped some teams besides the EMUs this year. Anyways, the Wolverines look rough on defense.
BoilerUp89: To be fair, most of those other teams didn’t want anything to do with Bates.
Illinois Fighting Illini 86, Kansas City Roos 48
MaximumSam: More Big Man Domination, as Dain Dainja went for 20 on 9-11 shooting, along with 15 rebounds and 5 blocks. Might be time to start adding his name to the Good Big Man List.
BoilerUp89: Someone is going to have to educate me on how to pronounce Dain Dainja. He’s certainly caught my eye early in the season - although usual caveats about early season competition level apply. I don’t think he will be coming off the bench much longer if he keeps this up.
One small area of concern from a mostly non-competitive game: Illinois only outrebounded the Roos by three and gave up 15! offensive rebounds.
Saturday, November 12 Scores
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 73, UMass-Lowell River Hawks 65
MaximumSam: Rutgers was never really threatened in this game, but they also couldn’t quite break away. Freshman Derek Simpson played 34 minutes and while he shot poorly, he was a perfect 10/10 at the line, which were pretty important points given the final score.
BoilerUp89: Rutgers became the first 3-0 B1G team with an uninspiring victory over the River Hawks. Omoruyi did drop another 22 points to go along with 15 points, but outside of his performance there isn’t much that stands out on the box score as particularly good for the Scarlet Knights outside of free throwing shooting (28/34). It was a poor shooting night for Rutgers (33.9% from the field and 18.8% from three), but their ability to get to the line and convert once there helped them stave off the upset attempt and kept Umass-Lowell from getting any closer than 6 in the 2nd half.